Putting on the ritz in hot to trot Bexy

Bexhill sure knows how to make whoopee with it's annual Roaring 20's event, attracting thousands of people to enjoy a day of fun and frolicking in the sun whilst having a taste of a bygone era.

Saturday, 30th July 2016, 1:46 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:07 am

The annual event, held on Bexhill seafront on the terrace and lawns of the De La Warr Pavilion (DLWP), and in the streets of Bexhill, last Saturday (July 23), has become a one of the south coast’s most hotsey-totsey attractions, not just for locals but for the hundreds of Flappers Dappers, and Dolls of all ages who travelled from all parts of the UK to join in.

Organised by Roger Crouch, one of the main attractions included the attempt to take back the world record for the most people dancing the Charleston; which Bexhill won in 2015 with 503 dancers only to loose it to London who subsequently notched up 975.

The day was packed with entertainment for all ages from beginning to end.

Display’s on show throughout the day included a range of stunning vintage cars, including a couple of Hayburners, courtesy of Bexhill 100. Motorcycles from 1915-1932 were buffed and preened by the Vintage Motorcycle Club and Bexhill Classic Cycle Group, turned out in their finest to impress the crowds.

On the main stage non-stop entertainment included a 1920’s inspired routine by 1066 Rollerdance, Fiona Harrison, 1920’s songs and dances presented by East Sussex School of Performing Arts, 1920s Prohibition Stunt Action, Cinque Ports Lindy Tappers, Savoy Kicks from the sensational Brighton Charleston dance group, Debonnaire Entertainment, who performed songs from 1020’s shows, tap dance sensation Katie Lewis, an energetic performance by Acromax Gymnastics Club, and Masai Warriors from Kenya entertained with their traditional dance.

The Royal British Legion Romford Marching Band performed two processions with a final Beating the Retreat at the end of the day and an 18 piece Swing Shift Big Band performed on the DLWP terrace.

A themed 1920s market had a wide range of stalls selling clothes, pictures, bric a brac and all things vintage.

Children were entertained with a vintage funfair, miniature railway rides and a Punch and Judy show.

Themed bars and food outlets on the Jubilee Lawn included Bexhill Lions Club who did a roaring trade with their barbeque as they sizzled up only the best of locally sourced sausages and burgers.

Lion President Rick Hough says though they have yet to get a final figure all Rubes (profits) from the day will go to local charities, adding: “It was a brilliant day..we think it was the best one ever!”

The day culminated at 4pm when Fly Boy’s from the Royal Air force wowed the crowd with a spectacular thirty minute Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Full Display in the skies along the seafront near the DLWP.

Roger says he was overwhelmed by the success of the day and though the Charleston world record attempt didn’t come to fruition, it was still the bees knees. “To achieve 825 people dancing the Charleston at the world record attempt was terrific,” he said.

“Although not quite enough to take the title back the party atmosphere with thousands looking on was amazing and the main objective of having great fun was truly achieved.”

He added: “There was a great atmosphere all day and my own personal pride was in seeing all ages enjoying the festivities side by side.

“The biggest thanks though is to the community of Bexhill who have embraced the event, and supported it.

“Very proud of the event and indeed Bexhill.”

Visit the website at: www.bexhillroaring20s.org.uk